Principles of Humanistic Education

Thank you for the progress in developing the Human Studies website

I should like to add, for us all to consider, the following Principles of Humanistic Education:

1) Students should be able to choose what they want to learn.
Humanistic teachers believe that students will be motivated to learn a
subject if it’s something they need and want to know.

2) The goal of education should be to foster students’ desire to learn
and teach them how to learn. Students should be self-motivated in
their studies and desire to learn on their own.

3) Humanistic educators believe that grades are irrelevant and that
only self-evaluation is meaningful. Grading encourages students to
work for a grade and not for personal satisfaction. In addition,
humanistic educators are opposed to objective tests because they test
a student’s ability to memorize and do not provide sufficient
educational feedback to the teacher and student.

4) Humanistic educators believe that both feelings and knowledge are
important to the learning process. Unlike traditional educators,
humanistic teachers do not separate the cognitive and effective

5) Humanistic educators insist that schools need to provide students
with a non threatening environment so that they will feel secure to
learn. Once students feel secure, learning becomes easier and more

The five basic principles of humanistic education can be summarized as follows:
1) Students’ learning should be self-directed.
2) Schools should produce students who want and know how to learn.
3) The only form of meaningful evaluation is self-evaluation.
4) Feelings, as well as knowledge, are important in the learning process.
5) Students learn best in a non threatening environment.

Agnes Katusabe, Headteacher, Star Classic Humanist Nursery School, Bundibugyo District

Published by Steve Hurd

Chair, Uganda Humanist Schools Trust Former teacher, teacher trainer, curriculum developer, educational researcher and economist. Teaching and project experience in the UK and in Uganda.

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